Thursday, 1 May 2014


As noted in part one, CAPTAIN VICTORY & The GALACTIC
RANGERS lasted for thirteen issues and one Special.  I have the first
three plus the Special, so that only leaves ten issues I need to complete
the set.  Trouble is, the issues I've read just fail to hold my interest, due
to JACK KIRBY's fading abilities not only in his art, but also in being
able to make characters speak in a realistic manner.  True, the latter had
never been his strong point anyway, but either he had got worse or I'd
become harder to please.  Either way, it made reading his later works
a bit of a chore rather than the pleasure his earlier mags had been.

So, it's highly unlikely I'll ever bother trying to complete the set -
unless I manage to obtain the remaining issues for am absolute song
or they're issued in an inexpensive collected edition.  Incidentally, on
the covers, note that it says 'the' Galactic Rangers, yet on the splash
pages it's 'his' Galactic Rangers.  Why the difference I wonder?

However, don't let me spoil your fond recollections of these issues
if you had them back in the day.  Just immerse yourself in the images
which now follow and lose yourself in the past of thirty years ago.


Andrew May said...

As I mentioned in a recent blog post of my own, Dynamite Comics have resurrected both Captain Victory and Silver Star. I haven't read any of them but it would be interesting to know how they've handled it.

Kid said...

I'll have to look for that post, Andrew - I don't remember seeing it. (Knowing me 'though, I probably left a comment.) I just never found Kirby's later concepts very interesting - it was as if he was raiding the 'rejects' file. Even when I look at some of the early Marvel stuff nowadays, it's obvious how much Stan Lee's scripting enlivened the strips. If they'd been dialogued by Jack, would they have been considered the classics they were at the time, I wonder?

Andrew May said...

Yes, you did leave a comment! It was the post about the Dynamite Shadow reprint - it was only a throwaway remark about other Dynamite titles, though.

My opinion of Kirby's work over the years is very similar to yours. I've got the first 3 Captain Victory issues but I never really got into them. Looking at the pages you've reproduced here, it looks almost like an exaggerated self-parody of the Kirby style!

At the risk of offending diehard Kirby fans by saying the one thing that is unforgivable heresy to them, I agree with you that Jack's success owed more than a bit to Stan Lee. Not just because of the added humour and humanity of the dialogue, but also because of the way Stan de-anonymized Jack and the other artists into real personalities that readers could identify with, via credit boxes and gushing praise in Bullpen Bulletins, letter pages etc.

Colin Jones said...

Your blog is very educational,Kid - I've never even heard of Captain Victory before, I didn't know Kirby had done anything after The Eternals ! That's a good point you make about whether Kirby would have been quite the legend he is without Stan Lee - in my opinion Stan saved superhero comics and without him they would have died in the '60s or limped along as a laughing stock full of dogs in capes and such nonsense.

Kid said...

What I've always thought, Andrew, is that Kirby's later art looked like a lesser artist was attempting to copy his style, but not quite pulling it off.


One thing's for sure, Col - Stan was the man who transformed well-drawn comics by Jack and Steve into the classics they came to be regarded as.

vwstieber said...

While the concepts remained cosmic, the art got worse over time as his physical abilities deteriorated. The writing remained stilted and got goofier. Not Kirby at his peak, just Kirby for those of us who wanted something new by Kirby.

However, in the last 3 issues he linked Captain Victory into the Fourth World series (without using the actual names, of course). Tragically, while that was re-invigorating, the cartoony art and poor coloring hurt. The final 3 Musketeers Special was an ignoble ending.

Kid said...

An ignoble ending indeed. Such a shame, but at least when he was at his peak, he was nigh untouchable. Even giants diminish over time, alas.

John Pitt said...

Again thanks for this post. I shall add CV to the same list as New Gods, Eternals, etc. - nice art, shame about the story. I make an exception for Kamandi, though , even though it was a blatant POTA rip - off!

Kid said...

Nice art at the start, at least - not so much at the end, alas.

DeadSpiderEye said...

I ate up Pacific Comics when they appeared: Twisted Tales, Alien Worlds and the Kirby output is consistent with retro theme. That suited me fine because there had grown a certain distance between myself and the preoccupations of DC/Marvel: everything got a bit soapy or worst still, worthy. It was that brief period the in the 80's, the direct sale boom, I think they called it, before the Moore/Gibbons watershed. Of course I've got these somewhere, I haven't read them for ages so my recollection is bit hazy, I do recall some disillusion over production standard but I don't the remember the colouring being quite this bad.

A while ago, I read a comment on one of your postings, a guy related his quest for an issue of Marvel's Planet of the Apes. His dedication seemed somewhat to ardent for a second, until I recalled one summer's rail excursions to, what seemed, every bloody comic shop south of Coventry, until I found issue two of Pacific Presents in Park Street, Bristol.

Kid said...

Considering that Pacific Presents featured The Rocketeer by Dave Stevens, your trek to various comics shops is entirely understandable, DSE. I used to do the same thing - regularly - and not always with a specific mag as my object in mind.

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